DP chuck key

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edtec
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DP chuck key

Post by edtec » Sat Jun 13, 2009 11:39 am

As I age, arthritis in my finger joints really are affected by the unfriendly design of the chuck key of my Delta drill press. I want to make a chuck key (or modify the supplied key) which fits well in the chuck hole and meshes well in the cogs (no slipping). Have any of you improved on the chuck key? Sure would like to see some good ideas!
JB

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larry_g
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Post by larry_g » Sat Jun 13, 2009 12:21 pm

If you have the L shaped key then you can slip a file handle over the long leg and you will have a nice handle. I have a couple of hex keys that have file handles on them for common used screws on the lathe.

lg
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Jose Rivera
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Post by Jose Rivera » Sat Jun 13, 2009 12:51 pm

How about a cheater-bar made out of adequate size tubing?
There are no problems, only solutions.
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Carm
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Post by Carm » Sat Jun 13, 2009 1:49 pm

Met an older fellow the other day, had an interesting take on drill press keys & safety. The key was set into a knurled disc about the size of his palm.
When done tightening the chuck the disc had to be set into a magnetic holder that had a micro switch that enabled the motor circuit. No key, no start. He had it mounted on the head.

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Frank Ford
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Post by Frank Ford » Sat Jun 13, 2009 4:42 pm

Woody Guthrie was right - arthritis is a thing to miss!

I've been dealing with arthritis in my hands since mid 1991, and about all I can say is that it gets worse with time.

So, I modify chuck keys, machine adjustment thumbscrews, and that kind of thing to make life a bit less painful.

Here's my Long Armed Jacobs project - first I milled a slot in a hunk of brass rod:


Image

Then, I simply soft-soldered the chuck key in the slot, after shortening the arms to fit my slot:


Image

After a bit of lathe and file work, I have a nice looking and easy working two-handed chuck key:


Image
Cheers,

Frank Ford

edtec
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Post by edtec » Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:04 am

Just got in from a picking gig (arthritis affects that too!) and read ideas to-date.
LG and Jose--I have tried the extension handle--it helps, but makes the storing and handling a bit awkward sometimes.
Frank--I like your extensions for a two-handed model for horizontal use; however, it would seem a bit challenging in the vertical on a DP?
Carm--I'm working on a visualization of your description and while I probably would not go as far as making it a part of the electrical system, the palm-sized handle is interesting. Perhaps that would allow putting lateral pressure to keep the key in the chuck hole as rotational pressure is applied. Doing both with the short (or even extended leg of the key) is difficult.
JB

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Frank Ford
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Post by Frank Ford » Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:08 am

Frank--I like your extensions for a two-handed model for horizontal use; however, it would seem a bit challenging in the vertical on a DP?
Not at all - it works just as well for me in vertical position. I spin the chuck down by hand, so there's only a fraction of a turn required to tighten with the key.
Cheers,

Frank Ford

Lykle
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Polymorph

Post by Lykle » Sun Jun 14, 2009 4:24 am

Maybe you could use Polymorph to shape a nice handle that will fit your hand perfectly.

For the few who don't know it, polymorph is a plastic, comes in tiny granules and once you heat it up it is mouldable. Then when it cools it changes again into something very much like Nylon.
Magic stuff.

I use it to make mobile phone holders for in the car, or a slightly bigger grip on a tiny screwdriver I had. It doesn't stick to metal, slightly grease to the touch, but you can mold it around it.

Shape it to fit your hand and it will spread the load, great stuff.

Lykle

Jose Rivera
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Post by Jose Rivera » Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:39 pm

Harbor Freight carries this type of chuck key for little money.

I have bought the one that is a cross and has four different sizes.
It fits OK on some chucks but although they call it "Universal", it does not fit some of my chucks.

For the cost and being able to return it I think is a good deal.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/d ... mber=95473
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GlennW
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Post by GlennW » Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:52 pm

Have you considered a keyless chuck?

There are some available that utilize a spanner type wrench for final tightening.

May be the best of both worlds for you.

Easy to initially open and close like a conventional key type, and final tightening or initial loosening is done with a 4" long spanner that you could just bump with the palm of your hand.

Image

And then there is always the Walstrom chuck, although not inexpensive!
Glenn

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edtec
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Location: South Alabama

Post by edtec » Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:21 pm

I value all your comments. Glenn, I decided to use things on-hand rather than spend more on this project; however, I would like to have a good keyless chuck. So, today I made my first attempt to improve on the DP chuck key. I got from the scrap bin an AL casting I had rescued from the mud at a recycling yard recently.
Image
Size was about 3.25 in D X 2 in L
Image
Cleaned and trued, then bored to a press-fit for the body of the chuck key.
Image
The finished tool
Image
Works fine--I may knurl the edge if needed
Thanks to all.
JB[/img]
Last edited by edtec on Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:07 pm, edited 8 times in total.

SweetHomeAlabama
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When Ol' Arthur visits

Post by SweetHomeAlabama » Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:08 am

I guess I'm just lazy... and arthritic. I always have a 6 inch cresent wrench near my drill press. When Ol' Arthur visits me, I put the key in the chuck and stick the hole end of the cresent wrench over the key handle to give me the needed leverage.

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